Beta reads!

Just a quick note, since a few people have asked me if I was going to post my writing here and friendslock it for those who want to read it and give me some lovely feedback – as you have seen I’ve done just that. If you’re interesting in what I’m doing with this draft and want to help prevent me from completely butchering it by giving me some input about it, please contact me at sfloch87[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll be more than happy to give you the password so you can take a peek at it.

Lots of love,

Nym.

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Lovely progress!

After pondering this first chapter for a long time, deciding to discard my original prologue as it really wasn’t adding anything vital to the overall plot, I finally sat down and re-wrote the first chapter of what is pretty much the third draft of Light. At first I was really preoccupied with largely over-thinking the whole thing, worrying if certain things were making sense and if I wasn’t even starting this whole thing right.

Let’s face it, next to endings, beginnings are probably the hardest thing to write.

Finally I decided that yes, it would work and it did make sense and ended up adapting quite a bit of old stuff from the second draft that fit into this pretty well. Right now I’m quite happy with the chapter as it is since it does introduce three different conflicts that will carry the main plot: the Raeyn story-line, the Empire vs. the Voyants and the conflict between Ares and Damian. I’ll look over it again tomorrow to weed out anything that I may have overlooked or that could be improved and then move on to chapter two, which will be a lot of fun to write 🙂

P.S.: If anyone has any good designs or pictures of the Chariot (as in the Tarot card), send them my way as  I am looking for a good one to use for a tattoo design 🙂

Outline or just wing it?

I actually got into a discussion with fantasy author Brandon Sanderson about this during a writing convention last year. He pointed out the differences between what he called the “planners” and “discoverers” as far as writing is concerned. Planners in this case religiously following an outline they had made for their books, outlines usually being very meticulous and detailed with a clear concept of opening, middle of the book and ending. Unlike planners, discoverers are the kind of writers that like to just go by a general idea and watch the story unfold as they wrote it.
Back then I found myself very strongly agreeing with Sanderson’s middle approach of this: I had a general idea that I was going by, but also had kind of an outline, one however that lacked both an ending and most of the details, thus resulting in me mostly just winging it.
Now I’m not so sure that this is the right, or maybe just not the appropriate approach to this novel anymore. Maybe this has to do with the fact that by now I’ve been working on this for over three years and the book has grown from a “general idea” to “scraps that just featured the wrong main character” to “a partly horrible, partly readable first draft” to “some more, much better yet still mediocre, rewritten scraps”.
Anyway, three years later I felt like it was finally time to put this whole thing that always went by the work title Light into an outline. And something interesting and fabulous happened! Structure! Logic! A well-rounded plot! Wooo!
The bottom line is that in this case going at my book by stripping it to its studs, isolating separate scenes and deciding what to keep and what to can, resulted in an entirely new book. Yes, what was originally conceived to become a trilogy, or two books at best, with a very vague idea of how in hell this whole mess is going to end, could be compressed into one single volume! Hurrah! Finally I have what this book was lacking all along – an ending, an a complex and dense but coherent (in my opinion at least) plot – yay! Now it just needs to be written. And then…well, then we’ll see.

As far as the outline is concerned I discovered the virtue of COLOR CODING and POST-IT NOTES! Seriously, they are a writer’s best friend 🙂
Since I have two first-person characters whose narrative as well as numerous scenes containing sex and violence, I decided to give each of these characters and elements a distinct color. Green for Ares, yellow for Damian, orange for violence and pink for sex to make sure they’re more or less equally distributed throughout the novel, and to get a closer look at the plot. After a couple of edits I also added content notes, and the finished product is now hanging in my apartment making me all kinds of happy.

Outline Board version 1.0

Outline Board version 1.0

Outline Board v.3.0 final version

*cringe*

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted anything, let alone anything worthwhile on here. Truth is, my writing drive has been locked up in a little windowless hibernation cell for most of the year due to ongoing personal stress and frustration. However, my drive to write seems to finally have found an escape route and the prison break has been completed this month with the result of me being full of shiny new ideas for Light, which in turn resulted in a complete re-vamp of the original drafts and scraps.

Anyway, this means I’m back and up to par as far as writing goes. I’ve finished a very elaborate outline that actually has a real ENDING (meaning that what I at first conceived to be a trilogy and later two books, will now be completed within ONE BOOK!) I’m really excited about this and there will be lots of shiny new stuff that adds to the overall plot, logic and complexity of the story. Overall I cut quite a bit of clutter out of the original drafts and while doing a complete rewrite, there will still be old elements present, even though I’m going to twist most of them a little. Damian will have his own completely developed plotline and get it on with Raeyn (which already makes me chuckle). Raeyn in turn will get much more room and importance in the novel (something that his character has been pestering me with for much too long). Oh, and Ares will get SCARY! and switch sides! And do bad things! This will be fun.

Hope some people will join me in the fun as I always enjoy the healthy exchange of writerly goodness (and frustrations).

Cheers!

Nym

P.S.: There also are TONS of things that I need to edit and update as far as the site is concerned. I’ll get around to it. Be patient with me 🙂